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Mississippi State trio earns SEC weekly honors

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Press Release from Mississippi State Athletics

After leading Mississippi State to its largest victory in the 111-year series history with LSU, a trio of Bulldogs were honored as Players of the Week by the Southeastern Conference on Monday.

Junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald earned Offensive Player of the Week, sophomore Darryl Williams picked up Offensive Lineman of the Week and sophomore Jeffery Simmons was named Defensive Lineman of the Week after leading MSU to a 37-30 victory over No. 11 LSU.

The victory was not only MSU’s largest ever over the Tigers, but was also the largest over a ranked opponent since a 33-0 triumph over No. 12 Vanderbilt during the 1942 season and propelled the Bulldogs to No. 17 in the latest Associated Press poll.

Fitzgerald earns his third SEC Offensive Player of the Week honor of his career, which ties for the second most in MSU history. He was an efficient 15-of-33 for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He added 88 yards rushing, averaging 6.3 yards per carry, with two scores on the ground. Fitzgerald’s 14 first-half points against the Tigers surpassed the total allowed by LSU’s defense through the first two games of the season combined.

A native of Richmond Hill, Ga., Fitzgerald closed the game with 260 yards of total offense, while his four scores brought his career touchdowns responsible to 55 to surpass Don Smith (1983-86) for second in MSU history. Fitzgerald leads the SEC with 12 total touchdowns while ranking third nationally behind Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph (13 TDs) and UCLA’s Josh Rosen (14 TDs).

Fitzgerald was also one of eight quarterbacks named a Manning Award "Star of the Week" for his four-touchdown performance against the Tigers. Fans can vote for the Manning Award's Player of the Week by clicking here. The award winner will be announced at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Williams snags the first weekly honor of his career after a dominant performance on MSU’s offensive line. He added three knockdowns and paved the way for an MSU rushing attack that totaled 285 yards rushing, the most allowed by LSU since Nov. 14, 2015. The Bessemer, Ala., native helped anchor a Bulldog line that has allowed just one sack all season, the fewest in the league this year, and provided protection for 465 yards of total offense against the Tigers.

Simmons earned back-to-back weekly honors after continuing to prove to be the top defensive lineman across the SEC. He becomes the first Bulldog to win back-to-back SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week accolades since former Bulldog and current Washington Redskin Preston Smith won three consecutive laurels to open the 2014 season. Against LSU, Simmons collected a career-best seven tackles, including a career-high 1.5 sacks for a loss of six yards. From Macon, Miss., Simmons added two quarterback hurries and dominated the line of scrimmage to hold the Tigers to 133 yards rushing, their fewest since Nov. 5, 2016.

For more information on the Bulldogs, follow the MSU football team on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching for "HailStateFB." You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap."

Copyright 2017 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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